In celebration of the sacred month of Movember, Bwog interviewed two members of the Columbia Men’s Heavyweight Rowing team, which has been involved in some pretty furry philanthropy this month. If you happen to be one of those uninformed individuals who thought Movember and No Shave November were the same thing, read on, because Nick Hesselgrave and Ben Coombs are going to set you straight.
Bwog: What exactly is Movember?
Ben: Movember is a global charity that encourages men around the world to grow mustaches in order to raise funds for men’s health programs and research to combat prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health challenges.
Nick: I need to make it clear that it is mustache only though. Beard growing is against the rules. That’s to make it more obvious that a guy is doing Movember. They’re creating a brand, if you will.
Bwog: How did you choose this charity?
Nick: I have personal beef with man cancer. But more importantly, I think men’s health issues are often overlooked in the larger spectrum of health discourse. We’re in a good position to have a positive impact in that regard, by stimulating men’s health conversation’s in our Columbia community via conversation starting mustaches. Of course its fun for us too though, which is why it was a perfect fit. It facilitates an opportunity for the team to bond over something silly while achieving something constructive at the same time.
Ben: I personally got involved because while I was in high school, my Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I remember the first time I saw him in hospital and it was one of the most difficult things I’ve had to see. Luckily, he survived. I’m doing Movember so that I can help raise funds that will allow for all Dads to survive.
Bwog: What are your facial hair plans? I guess Movember is restricted to mustaches, but do you have a certain type of mustache you’re going for?
Nick: Even though I’m the oldest guy on the team, I certainly don’t have the stache panache to attempt a style bonus yet. For now I’m just letting it do its thing, hoping I can squeeze out something that appears post-pubescent at the least. Once it gets a little more color I think I’ll give creative rights to my biggest donor. Maybe a “guy faux,” would be good, something that makes me look like a real dastardly chap.
Ben: Currently, I’m sporting a handlebar mustache. I’ll probably stay with this look for the rest of the month. Honestly, I don’t really grow hair anywhere else!
Bwog: What happens if you’re one of those poor follically challenged souls who simply can’t grow any facial hair? Do you get kicked off the team?
Nick: Kicked off the team?? Those guys are the true heroes of the initiative! Creepy upper lip fuzz is not a good look. Those boys are sacrificing their handsomeness for an entire month and that’s a big deal to a rower! (This is sarcasm…. kinda) Plus, they are shouldering a bigger share of the ball-breaking abuse! Yet, they soldier on undeterred. I salute those magnificent bastards.
Ben: Some have thought about doing the negative mo, i.e. growing a beard rather than a mo because they can’t grow any hair above their upper lip.
Bwog: How can people get involved?
Nick: Any support is appreciated, whether it’s just words of encouragement/discouragement or a monetary contribution. All are welcome to visit our team page and follow our regularly updated progress (including time lapsed photos of our Mogrowing): http://us.movember.com/team/1002601. There you can speak your mind or make a donation to the entire team, or find your favorite rower’s personal MoSpace page and support his effort directly. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, you could even join our team and start raising funds yourself. Mo’Bros and Mo’sistas alike.
BONUS! If you donate, they’ll write you a poem on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ColumbiaHeavyweightRowersMovemberTeam d’awww